Award-winning composer and Blizzard dev Jason Hayes has gathered an army of prolific musicians, from session stalwarts to symphony stars to the pianist from freaking Toto, just to do video game music covers under the name Critical Hit. Here's the first one. It's pretty amazing.
Not to discount the work of the thousands of video game cover hobbyists out there, but there's just an extra-added layer of polish when you've got a band comprised of some of the most sought-after session players, professional video game music composers, and the guy who co-wrote "Africa".
According to the official Critical Hit website, there are 15 musicians in the band, including arranger Adam Gubman (he did the new Today Show theme and hundreds of video games), Taylor "ViolinTay" Davis, and Laurence Juber, one of the guitarists for Paul McCartney's Wings. These people are all playing songs from Angry Birds, Final Fantasy, and Metal Gear Solid, though technically some of them already have.
Here's the full track listing for the group's first album/ Gaze upon it.
01. Tetris: "Main Theme" 02. Angry Birds: "Main Theme" 03. World of Warcraft: "Legends of Azeroth" 04. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: "Zelda's Lullaby" 05. Halo 2: "Main Theme" 06. Pokémon: "Main Theme" 07. Super Mario World: "Bowser's Castle" 08. Final Fantasy X: "To Zanarkand" 09. Kingdom Hearts: "Hikari" 10. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3: "Battle for New York" 11. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: "Streets of Whiterun" 12. Metal Gear Solid 2: "Main Theme"
Now that you've gazed, go listen to excerpts at the store page. Most of what I am hearing there is excellent.
Critical Hit will be performing live during BlizzCon 2013 at the sound panel. The album comes out October 31.